Idaho, just like other states, views a lease agreement as a legally binding contract. As such, both Idaho landlords and the tenants must abide by its terms until it expires. Nevertheless, there are certain situations that may compel you to break the lease early.
For example, you are now a divorcee and are looking to downsize. Or perhaps, you need to move closer to your new place of work.
Depending on the reason, you, the renter, may or may not be legally justified to break the lease.
Tenant Rights and Responsibilities When Signing a Lease in Idaho
A lease obligates you for the entire period of the agreement, which usually lasts for 1 year. During this period, both you and the landlord must adhere to the lease terms.
For example, the landlord is not legally allowed to evict you without a legal cause. In addition, they cannot raise the rent price unless the Idaho lease agreement says otherwise.
It’s important to keep in mind that the Idaho landlord-tenant law requires that tenants carry out their duties. For instance, making timely rent payments and maintaining the rental.
Consequences of Breaking a Lease Without Justification
Moving for military reasons is a good example of a legally justified reason to break an Idaho lease agreement early.
However, breaking a lease for the wrong reasons could have major consequences. Tenants could:
Face civil lawsuits
It’s true that a divorce, an illness, or a job loss can negatively impact someone’s finances and hinder their ability to pay rent on time. But sadly, these aren’t legally justified reasons to break your lease early.
Have difficulty renting a new place
Savvy landlords always screen their prospective tenants. If a prospective renter has a record of poor payment habits, breach of contract, or an eviction history, it will make it much more difficult for them to find a new property to rent.
Have a poor credit judgment
A landlord will most likely report a breach of contract to the bureaus. This will cause the tenant’s credit score to drop. Your credit score is often verified by landlords before they allow you to rent their property. This can make it more difficult to be approved for a lease in the future.
How to Break an Idaho Lease Agreement Without Penalty
1. Landlord fails to maintain fit and habitable housing.
Landlords have a legal responsibility to keep their rental property in safe and sound condition. Some common responsibilities include:
- Following health and safety codes
- Making sure the property has running water at all times
- Making sure the property has adequate heating
Failure to do any of these, and a renter may be able to break the lease without incurring any penalties.
2. Landlord interferes with the tenants’ ability to enjoy their home.
Every tenant in Idaho has the right to the quiet enjoyment of their home. In other words, once the lease is signed the landlord gives up the right to enter the tenants’ rental unit as they please. To enter, adequate notice must be given to the tenant. Even then, the renter may have the right to deny or accept their request.
In the state of Idaho, landlords generally request to enter a rental unit for reasons such as:
- In case the tenant has abandoned the premises
- To make repairs
- Under court orders
- To show the property to prospective tenants
- To inspect the unit
3. Beginning military service.
Renters can also break a lease without incurring penalties if they are beginning active military service. In order to break the lease without penalty, they need to prove they signed the lease before entering active duty and that they will remain on active duty for at least 90 days.
Breaking a Lease – With Penalty
The following are a few reasons that are not exempt from facing a penalty when breaking a lease in Idaho:
4. Victim of domestic violence.
Although some state laws allow tenants to break a lease in domestic violence situations, Idaho is not one of them. Idaho landlord-tenant law has no statute regarding domestic violence. If you find yourself in this situation we advise you to contact your landlord directly.
5. Job relocation or family health problems.
In Idaho, relocating for a job or medical reasons do not qualify as grounds for early lease termination. It’s important you communicate with your landlord if you will be relocating, however, you will likely incur a penalty for early termination of your lease.
In Idaho, the lease is generally in favor of the landlord. This article was created to be informative but is not in any way to be taken as legal advice. If you need to break a lease early we advise you to contact your landlord and an attorney.